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Prosecutor drops bad check charge against equine center developer

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A felony check charge against one of the developers of a $350 million equestrian center planned near Republic was dropped in Taney County on Friday.

Carl Scott, a former vice president of Springfield-based JKC Contractors LLC, had faced a criminal charge for writing a bad check for $500 or more, but that charge was dismissed without prejudice by the Taney County prosecutor on Dec. 30, according to court documents.

In a Dec. 29 phone interview for the story “Republic recruits $350M equine center”, which appeared in the Jan. 2 issue of Springfield Business Journal, Scott said he had signed the check for JKC, which has been out of business for about a year.

He said the contractor had run into financial problems after not being paid on several jobs it completed, which led to the company not having money to cover the check he signed. Scott and his lawyer, Springfield attorney Nancy Price, said last week they expected the charge to be dropped.

Scott said he has worked with a Nixa property owner, whom Scott declined to name, since Day 1 on developing the equestrian center now slated for land southwest of the James River Freeway and Interstate 44 interchange.

Republic City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and first reading Jan. 9 on the bill that would annex 909 acres of the development property. A second reading and vote on the measure is expected Jan. 23. Republic Planning and Development Director Gail Noggle said plans for the development should go before council around the end of February.      

Preliminary plans for the 1,200-acre development include a 15,000-seat arena, a 300-room hotel, 30 condos, 60 cottages, manmade lakes with 64 lakefront cabins and an RV park.

Originally, a Nixa property owned by one of the investors had been intended for the project, but the plans expanded and a roughly 500-acre site was chosen south of Rogersville, Scott said. Due to infrastructure challenges and the concerns of neighbors, those plans were scuttled last April. Noggle then approached Scott and Branson real estate broker Tim Chancellor, spokesmen for the investors, about finding a suitable site in the Republic area.

Scott said $20 million worth of property north of Republic is currently under contract awaiting the city’s annexation and approval of the project plans. Scott said he is not part of the investment group known as Eclipse Event Center LLC, but he did say there are three groups representing more than 50 investors from as far away as Arizona and Detroit.

Scott said he is working now to clear up two defaults on promissory notes issued by Commerce Bank, one of which is on his house. He said he fell behind on payments after becoming unemployed following his departure from JKC.[[In-content Ad]]


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